There are various sorts of diet regimes that either include one or two of the macronutrients and skip the third one. All these types of diets have their benefits and risks and people with different diet goals adopt these diet plans accordingly. We’ve heard of this new trending diet ‘the carnivore diet” and we can not stop thinking about it. We wonder what is this Carnivore Diet. Is this something new that we don’t know? Let’s have a look at it.
The carnivore diet as the name depicts is a meat-eating diet just like carnivores. The history of this diet could be traced back to 1856 by the German writer named as Bernard Moncrieff. It originates from the controversial belief that in old times, our ancestors consumed only meat and meat products. Later on Shawn Baker, an orthopedic surgeon, who is the main leader of the Carnivore Diet Movement turned to a meaty diet in 2016. This diet was not very famous before the publication of a book titled “The carnivore Diet” in 2018, by him.
Carnivore Diet is a rich protein, high-fat diet with zero carbohydrates. This totally cuts the carbs to zero unlike other low-carb diets like keto that reduce the carbs but do not totally exclude them. So, we wonder how this strict diet plan works, let’s see!
A carnivore diet works by eliminating every food group other than meat and animal products. So, when you are on a carnivore diet, your body gets only protein and fat from meat and won’t get any carbohydrates and as carbs are the body’s major source of energy, the body will rather use fats to convert them into energy and fulfill the requirement of the body. As it restricts almost all the food groups and allows only one; meat, so we should know what foods we can eat from this food group and what not, so let’s just find out.
A carnivore diet works by eliminating every food group other than meat and animal products.
|Foods ALLOWED||Foods NOT ALLOWED|
Organ meats (liver, kidney heart)
All kinds of sweets
All spreads, jams, and jellies
With these food products that you can eat in this diet, here is a sample menu that can be helpful.
Sample Meal Plan for the Carnivore Diet
Here is the 3-day sample meal plan that can be followed on the Carnivore Diet.
|Meal Time||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||Hard-boiled eggs||Eggs and bacon||Half Fry eggs Ham and cheese|
|Lunch||2 Grilled Chicken Breast (8 ounces) Fried fish with any sauce (15 ounces)||Beef Steak (12 ounces) Grilled or Fried Fish (15 ounces)||Smoked Beef Patty (12 ounces) 3 Chicken Breast Grilled(12 ounces)|
|Dinner||Beef Grilled (10 ounces) Burger Patty Chicken (8 ounces)||Roasted Chicken Breasts (8 ounces) Mutton or beef liver (10 ounces)||Mutton balls (10 ounces) Baked/Roasted Salmon (15 ounces)|
|Snack||Lamb chops||Chicken thighs||Bone broth|
In the carnivore diet, the protein-rich meals are fulfilling enough that it does not apparently require or include snacks, but if you want to have one snack in a day, the options are given in the above table.
Even though this is a carbohydrate-free diet, a lot of people are following this diet, even though for a short time period. So, what nutritional value a single serving of a carnivore diet provides? Are the nutritional needs of the body fulfilled or not?
A carnivore diet does not fulfill the whole nutrition requirements of the body on its own as the major macronutrient is restricted in this diet but as fats provide 9 calories per gram and protein gives 4 calories per gram, the energy of the macronutrients are higher for fats and provides almost double the energy coming from carbohydrates, so you’ll be fulfilled quickly.
The guidelines in the carnivore diet plan do not give any clue or information about the total calorie requirement, the number of meals you can eat in a day, or the exact serving size. But it gives a vague estimate about the serving size of meat intake per day that is:
|Males: Around two lbs of meat each day||Females: Around 1.5 lbs of meat each day|
Moreover, some of the nutrient and vitamin requirements can be obtained from this diet as organ meats like liver contain iron and essential vitamins like A and B vitamins. The remaining nutrients and vitamins can be fulfilled by adding supplements to your diet as you like with standard serving sizes. Even though the nutritional value of supplements can not match the value of nutrients coming from the food itself but it’s better than not having these nutrients at all.
In addition to its nutritional content, are there any health benefits to it, and what could be the risks related to it? Let’s have a look at all these questions.
1- Helps in weight loss by reducing calorie intake.
This is because eating protein in greater amounts gives you a satisfying and fulfilling feeling, decreasing the desire to eat, again and again, ultimately leading to reduced consumption of total calories.
2- Enhances mood
Cutting sugar intake can help enhance brain activity, helps against depression, and enhances mood.
3- Regulates blood sugar levels
Because it does not include any sugary food that causes the rise in blood sugar levels.
4- Reduced intestinal discomfort
Eating too much carb and sugar can cause intestinal problems like bloating and when you restrict their intake, these problems are reduced.
1- It is high fat, high-cholesterol diet that can elevate or increase the blood LDL cholesterol levels. If any person has any cardiovascular issues like heart problems, blood pressure, or high cholesterol, it’s dangerous for them to follow this diet
2- The carnivore diet totally omits plant-based and other foods so there is no fiber getting into your body when you are on the carnivore diet. When your body does not get fiber, you get constipation.
3- People with digestive problems also are at risk if following this diet rich in protein and fat only.
4- Some kind of meat contains lots of sodium which can be dangerous for health and can cause kidney problems.
5– This diet lacks many essential nutrients and vitamins
Now, as we have discussed the health benefits and risks of the carnivore diet, and that it helps in weight loss, so let’s look at whether this diet is a healthy option or not.
The carnivore diet solely on its own is not the best and healthy option to adopt for a long period of time.
Even though this diet helps a person with a weight problem but is not a healthy weight loss. You should not totally eliminate the carbs from your diet because all carbs are not bad and fattening. Moreover, you get a lot of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, cereals, whole grains and nuts, and seeds. For healthy weight loss, you should reduce the total calorie intake per day but eat from every food group for balanced nutrition.
The carnivore diet is restrictive which includes only meat and animal products while excluding all other food groups entirely. All the energy needs of the body are met by fats and proteins. Some nutrient needs are also fulfilled by animal organs but still many of them are missed and though this diet provides certain health benefits and aids in losing weight there is no strong research supporting this. It is overly restrictive and simply not sustainable, so it is not a healthy option to follow. Instead, eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods will help your body with many health benefits.
I look up to fitness as a lifestyle and love to pen down about it. I have 2 years of experience in content writing and I am here to share my research and knowledge on health and fitness.